• rather not say (unregistered)

    reminds me of one time in early in my programming career. someone was obviously having a bad day, and made "fuck you" (or possible "fuck off", my memory is hazy) the default value for the "surname" field in our app. it was good, because it didn't fill in the text box at first, it was done in the back end. end result being, if you were to add a new customer, you wouldn't notice their name was "fuck you" until you printed out an invoice for them or some such. top quality.

  • I walked the dinosaur (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    At my company, one of the many things that our IT department does right, is we have guided the business to continue to use CD-ROMs instead of a website for advertising our products. When I was asked to make the business case for this decision, it was simple:
    1. If you have a web site, there are too many browsers and incompatibilities with javascript, etc. So distributing a CD-ROM solves this problem because it will work on any Windows PC that has a CD-ROM drive, which is all of them.

    2. If you have a web site, anyone can view it, so even your competitors can gather intelligence about your products. Now, we are able to see our competitors website, but since we don't send CD-ROMs to them, they are in the dark!

    3. If you have a web site, you have to worry more about security and being hacked. How many news stories are there out there about companies who have exposed customer data. I have guaranteed that will not happen to us.

    4. If you have a web site, you have to hire web developers. With a CD-ROM application, you can use VB developers, who can create a more graphically rich experience for the customer.

    It really is quite simple to execute. On the last Wednesday of the month, everyone who has a CD-R drive (which includes all IT employees) has to burn their share of the CDs that have to go out the following Monday. So we assign a quota so to speak, and how to do in regards to your quota goes into your 360 feedback session later in the year.

    Anyway, it has worked out well. A tried and true approach.

    I lol'd!

  • KP (unregistered)

    Slightly embarrassing situation where I added comments into script code in our application that said something to the effect of:

    // Why the f**k do I need to put this code at the top of the file // because the stupid debugger doesn't work after line xxx

    Now, client's don't usually get to see the source code, but sometimes they are really that interested in the details of the logic, and we show them the code.

    The embarrassing part was when a junior developer found this code four years later, and sent around an email to the entire dev group as an example of really poor coding practice, and I had to agree that it was.

    Moral of the story is that you should never put anything in your code that you wouldn't want to show to your most frustrated and litigious client on their worst day, or anything that you wouldn't be proud to present to all of your development peers. Version control has a very long memory...

    Debugger problems were actually not the real cause of my frustration, to top it all off.

  • Steve (unregistered)

    A friend of mine tells me that the way the would determine when a piece of software was approaching a condition wherein it could be released was the decreasing frequency of the "F-word" in the comments.

    Once it got down below a certain threshold, it could be shipped.

  • kenrick (unregistered)

    yeah i had made some nice comments about a client in a flash file, not realizing that some years later they would get a hold of the source, and decide to poke around.

    well at least they now know what I thought of them.

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to Doesn't matter
    Doesn't matter:
    TopCod3r's posts always have his tongue firmly in his cheek.
    I guess that's better than having it firmly between someone else's cheeks...
  • mbessey (cs)

    Except that in our case, it was a problem at the CD duplicator. Instead of shipping us 10,000 copies of our web application server software, they shipped us 10,000 copies of the "National Geographic's 'Mammals'" interactive multimedia CD.

    The CD sleeves, the silk-screened labels, and all the paperwork were all correct, they'd apparently just loaded the wrong master into the stamping machine.

    I never did find out if the folks at National Geographic sent out 10,000 CDs with UNIX server software wrapped up in shiny boxes with pictures of lions and gazelles on them. I certainly hope not.

  • PG (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • plaidfluff (cs)

    So, his boss left a container of burned poop on his doorstep? That sounds rather juvenile.

  • Tuxinator (unregistered)

    I used to work for a small progarmming house where I was one of 2 programmers (me and the CEO) and I had to also take support calls.

    One day a little old lady calls and tells me she has an error on her screen.

    I ask "What does the error say?"

    "Oh I can't say that"

    "Well it would really help me find the problem faster"

    "Well ok... it says Oh SH%# and Poop"

    After I stopped laughing I checked the code and sure enough it was there right under a comment from the boss saying that this error should never happen.

    Showed the boss and he was quite embarrassed that it had come up.

  • kimbo305 (unregistered) in reply to Keving

    I think the story makes a lot more sense when the word is more vulgar, like "shit," and not "poop." I'm ok with anonymization in the stories, but I think here it hurt to censor a curse.

  • Tuxinator (unregistered) in reply to mbessey
    mbessey:
    I never did find out if the folks at National Geographic sent out 10,000 CDs with UNIX server software wrapped up in shiny boxes with pictures of lions and gazelles on them. I certainly hope not.

    Maybe that's where O'Reilly got the idea to put animals on their books.

  • Cooksey (unregistered)

    We had a game go out that on detection of memory corruption problems would abend with the message "PC is HOSED!".

    I suppose in a perfect world without Marketing Depts the bug would have been found and fixed.

    Support let us know all about it when the support lines lit up with folks thinking their PC was broken...

    Oh well, they just were not hip to the PC/NPC (Player Char/Non-Player Char) slang that drifts around a game shop.

    More care was taken after that by the programmers to keep the commentary in the comments...

  • jaykay (unregistered) in reply to snoofle

    [quote user="snoofle"][quote user="Matt.C"]Tch! When that happens, make it an acronym.

    (C)ustom (L)ibrary (I)nternalizing (T)ransactions (O)n (R)egistered (I)nternal (S)ystems

    [/quote]

    I looked for C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S. but couldn't find it anywhere...

  • Anon Amous (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    cellocgw:
    Believability Factor: zero. Nobody bothers to rifle thru a couple dozen CDs that showed up inthe office junk mail. And.. you really think none of your competitors know everything they want to know about your product?

    I didn't say we didn't have a contact info web site. We have a web site that has out phone number and contact information for example, after all it is 2008. This is also how they can request a CD-ROM, by filling out a simple form that I wrote.

    One best practice that we developed in order to make sure the customer sees the CD-ROM is for our sales staff to personally call them to make sure they received it, and if not send another one.

    In which case i would NEVER get your data. If I am assigned to find out about a product or capability the LAST thing I want is to end up on someone's sales e-mail list.

    If a site offers white papers on their product but requires me to register to see them then they are out of luck.

    If you want to sell me or my company your product then make it easy for me to learn about your product. If you don't want to expose customer data then don't put it on an Internet accessable system.

  • snoofle (cs) in reply to jaykay
    jaykay:
    snoofle:
    Matt.C:
    Tch! When that happens, make it an acronym.

    (C)ustom (L)ibrary (I)nternalizing (T)ransactions (O)n (R)egistered (I)nternal (S)ystems

    I looked for C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S. but couldn't find it anywhere...
    The you, Sir, are definitely a programmer!
  • Rene (unregistered) in reply to xtremezone
    xtremezone:
    Am I the only one that hoped this article was announcing the cancellation of MFD? :-/

    Nope, not the only one.

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered)

    Not bloody likely that the boss came over in the rain. I really did burn the poop in the military. We had no other means of disposing of sewage so we mixed it into a nice soup with diesel and burned it. Ah... memories.

  • EAPoe (unregistered)

    [...] the doorbell rang. As he walked downstairs to see who it was, he was thinking that it was odd to have a late-night guest, especially on such a rainy night. Standing at the door was his boss, holding a large cardboard box. Both he and the box were soaked

    with an introduction like this i expected the boss to just say something along the lines of: "nevermore!" (well, in a way he did).

  • Ben (unregistered)

    Those few minutes I spent reading that "story" are minutes I will never get back. Damn, I wish there was a "this is just a bunch of irrelevant shite" filter so I could ignore crap like this.

  • Daniel (unregistered)

    I've seen MySQL GUI Tools (either Admin or Query Analyzer, not sure) outputting "SHIT" to the console it was launched from.

  • amet (unregistered)

    I think I've read this before...

  • Mhendren (cs) in reply to cellocgw
    cellocgw:
    Believability Factor: zero. Nobody bothers to rifle thru a couple dozen CDs that showed up inthe office junk mail. And.. you really think none of your competitors know everything they want to know about your product?

    Ooops, never mind -- you were just trolling in the first place. My bad.

    The guy that was doing our sales presentation did it as flash so it would go on our website. Our product that we are selling is a web based application. When he was about 80% done with the presentation, he burned a CD of the prototype so he could demonstrate it to the president, as the president is one of those people who we would never be able to talk through doing a file transfer, and he wasn't ready to have the presentation available on our website.

    The president loved the CD presentation (with missing things like the website's address, the wrong phone number, missing features) and decided to show it to our "sales person"*. Our sales person is literally incapable of using the web, and remember we are selling a web-based product and need to be able to demonstrate our mastery of web-based technologies and simplicity of use. So, when she needs to demonstrate how easy our product is to use to a potential customer, she takes the prototype CD of the flash based sales presentation over to the disc duplicators and snail-mails the potential customer a copy.

    For some reason, we have had no new customers; only some legacy customers have switched to the web-based system.

    Short version: Is anyone hiring in the Saint Louis, MO area?

    • The term "sales person" is not really applicable, as she has been given money by my employer for 6 years for operating in a sales capacity and has thus far brought in a grand total of $0.
  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to jaykay
    jaykay:
    I looked for C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S. but couldn't find it anywhere...
    Try looking with your tongue.
  • Ville (unregistered) in reply to Similar, but less serious story
    Similar:
    One day I was developing software that had to do with "assignments" so I had an "ass" variable that held the current assignment.

    Everything was great.

    Until the day some unepexpected error popped up with a stack trace referencing "ass" popped up on a screen. It sais something like "Null pointer in ass." or some other slightly-offensive phrase. I got a good talking to about that. Luckily, we hadn't shipped the product yet so there was time to both fix the bug and change the variable name.

    But I learned an important lesson to even make sure my variable names didn't have potentially offensive language.

    And so you run search&replace and the story had a happy ending when your customer received their brand new buttignments application?

  • Zap Brannigan (unregistered) in reply to Mhendren
    Mhendren:
    * The term "sales person" is not really applicable, as she has been given money by my employer for 6 years for operating in a sales capacity and has thus far brought in a grand total of $0.
    Is she hot?
  • James Schend (unregistered) in reply to Zap Brannigan
    Zap Brannigan:
    Replying to to TopCod3r is a lot like being punk'd.

    TopCod3r, never give up, never surrender!

    The problem is TopCod3r is too good of a troll. The entire comments section just becomes people responding to him, and actual discussion disappears.

  • No version control?! (unregistered)

    Note the embedded WTF:

    Another casualty of the process: there wasn't any time to set up source control.

    Er.. it comes built-in on Linux systems: ci -l filename. Or install cvs, which even way back in the mid-90s of this article took little time at all.

  • Anony Moose (unregistered)

    A fun trick: use an editable text box instead of a label in an error dialog. Then have a tester notice this, cause an error, and then type their own inappropriate error message in place of the perfectly innocuous message.

    Result - one slightly concerned programmer. ;)

    (And a lot safer than having the problem text actually in the application...)

  • Randy_virgin_M_4_M (unregistered)

    I am a nice tall groomed boy - looking for a hot cowboy to go to MR. Nice if his name is Patrick

  • Sum Yung Guy (unregistered)

    Sounds like an "Easter Egg" to me...

  • Ian Tits (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r

    Are you for real?

    In the Real World, the first thing anyone learns is to lie and cheat and pretend you're someone from "the public" to stitch up your competitor company.

    You must be thick to think you're not sending your own data to your direct competitors.

  • Mhendren (cs) in reply to Zap Brannigan
    Zap Brannigan:
    Mhendren:
    * The term "sales person" is not really applicable, as she has been given money by my employer for 6 years for operating in a sales capacity and has thus far brought in a grand total of $0.
    Is she hot?

    Well, she's about 5'7" and something in the range of 80 - 85 pounds, and the face is a two bagger.

  • foo (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    At my company, one of the many things that our IT department does right, is we have guided the business to continue to use CD-ROMs instead of a website for advertising our products. When I was asked to make the business case for this decision, it was simple:
    1. If you have a web site, there are too many browsers and incompatibilities with javascript, etc. So distributing a CD-ROM solves this problem because it will work on any Windows PC that has a CD-ROM drive, which is all of them.

    2. If you have a web site, anyone can view it, so even your competitors can gather intelligence about your products. Now, we are able to see our competitors website, but since we don't send CD-ROMs to them, they are in the dark!

    This is silly. I'm a customer with two of our competitors and get all of their mailings at my home. You can't filter out competitors.

    3. If you have a web site, you have to worry more about security and being hacked. How many news stories are there out there about companies who have exposed customer data. I have guaranteed that will not happen to us.
    1. If you have a web site, you have to hire web developers. With a CD-ROM application, you can use VB developers, who can create a more graphically rich experience for the customer.

    LOL.

    It really is quite simple to execute. On the last Wednesday of the month, everyone who has a CD-R drive (which includes all IT employees) has to burn their share of the CDs that have to go out the following Monday. So we assign a quota so to speak, and how to do in regards to your quota goes into your 360 feedback session later in the year.

    So is it ok to just pay the 25 cents to get CDs made by a service? That's what I would do if I worked for your company.

    Anyway, it has worked out well. A tried and true approach.
  • Matt (unregistered) in reply to Steve
    Steve:
    I was reviewing one of our team's code and came across this:

    if (somecondition) { //can never get here GenerateError("something is f***ed"); }

    blah blah...

    If it can never get there, drop the whole damn if-statement!

    // C/C++ #include <assert.h> assert(somecondition)

    // C# using System.Diagnostics; Debug.Assert(somecondition)

    or if it can really happen, then you need a sensible error message (duh)

  • Zonk (unregistered)

    I worked for a company who did this, sort of, ... 3 times. (magazine cover mounts).

    Each time was 25-30,000 GBP worth.

    It was not that comic.

    First time it happened, they included a expirying version of the viewing component, so it tested fine, but broke by street date....

    2nd time, the original tested master went to the BBFC for rating, never came back, so a new master was created off the disc image, and was never tested. a totally worthless, unworking disc was handed back.

    3rd time, i can't recall exactly what the issue was. I think it was idiocy.

  • Unregistered trolls hunter (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    At my company, one of the many things that our IT department does right, is we have guided the business to continue to use CD-ROMs instead of a website for advertising our products. When I was asked to make the business case for this decision, it was simple:
    1. If you have a web site, there are too many browsers and incompatibilities with javascript, etc. So distributing a CD-ROM solves this problem because it will work on any Windows PC that has a CD-ROM drive, which is all of them.

    2. If you have a web site, anyone can view it, so even your competitors can gather intelligence about your products. Now, we are able to see our competitors website, but since we don't send CD-ROMs to them, they are in the dark!

    3. If you have a web site, you have to worry more about security and being hacked. How many news stories are there out there about companies who have exposed customer data. I have guaranteed that will not happen to us.

    4. If you have a web site, you have to hire web developers. With a CD-ROM application, you can use VB developers, who can create a more graphically rich experience for the customer.

    It really is quite simple to execute. On the last Wednesday of the month, everyone who has a CD-R drive (which includes all IT employees) has to burn their share of the CDs that have to go out the following Monday. So we assign a quota so to speak, and how to do in regards to your quota goes into your 360 feedback session later in the year.

    Anyway, it has worked out well. A tried and true approach.

    I call it Troll! Try to not post everyday TopCod3r. We can now easily detect your trolling! :-P

  • Doesn't matter (unregistered) in reply to Code Dependent
    Code Dependent:
    Doesn't matter:
    TopCod3r's posts always have his tongue firmly in his cheek.
    I guess that's better than having it firmly between someone else's cheeks...

    Unless it's Irish Girl.

  • Marcin from Austin (unregistered)

    I'm looking for a fun gay time with a good fella' from OCH. I will lickie lickie brownie brownie down under if you will ;)

  • diaphanein (unregistered) in reply to Matt
    Matt:
    Steve:
    I was reviewing one of our team's code and came across this:

    if (somecondition) { //can never get here GenerateError("something is f***ed"); }

    blah blah...

    If it can never get there, drop the whole damn if-statement!

    // C/C++ #include <assert.h> assert(somecondition)

    // C# using System.Diagnostics; Debug.Assert(somecondition)

    or if it can really happen, then you need a sensible error message (duh)

    Problem with both of these examples is that they are debug only. Release builds will have these checks optimized away and you're liable to crash/fail in an unpredictable manner.

  • Rob (unregistered) in reply to Ian Tits

    "In the Real World, the first thing anyone learns is to lie and cheat and pretend you're someone from "the public" to stitch up your competitor company."

    There is a lot of truth in this. I knew someone who worked in the head office of a large supermaket. Part of her job was to phone up the customer information line of rival supermarkets asking how much they charged for certain products.

  • Aleks (unregistered)

    A tech writer I once worked with, responsible for help files, started her introductory section template by listing each of the few product components as section titles. The body text of each section would read something like "You can keep blah blah blah blah about your company". If you think this is not an exact quote, you're right ... I only remember the "blah blah blah blah" part exactly (to the letter). Of course, later on she put the REAL(tm) content in there...

    After we released the product (version) to market somebody called us to tell us that "blah blah blah blah" is still in English help files. And Spanish. And French. And other 12 languages the product was translated to. I remember Spanish being something like "y datai y datai ...", and Chinese being not translated directly but as a single word meaning "nonsense" (as we were later told...).

  • That Guy (unregistered) in reply to akatherder
    akatherder:
    iToad:
    DDF:
    I don't think that is quite as bad as the "You should never see this message" type errors which are proof of either the programmers arrogance, lack of skill or both - not just his poor memory.

    I use the more politically correct phrase "Internal Error", followed by an error code. Yes, I have seen them pop up later.

    We did that too. We started assigning sequential errors to the code "Internal Error: E001", "Internal Error: E002", etc. It was a mild pain in the ass to figure out what the latest error number was, so someone decided to just hammer on the keyboard "Internal Error: 2873JD83HJD". Eventually we ended up with "FUK" in one of the error codes. The person who call it in said "Hey I got a 194 f*ck error".

    ShowMessage("Internal error at " FILE ":" LINE); Problem solved.

  • Dracolith (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    1. If you have a web site, there are too many browsers and incompatibilities with javascript, etc. So distributing a CD-ROM solves this problem because it will work on any Windows PC that has a CD-ROM drive, which is all of them.

    It's not everyone. Many people use PCs that don't use Windows; OS X, for example. Many people use Windows PCs that have no CD-ROM drive or other media drive.

    2. If you have a web site, anyone can view it, so even your competitors can gather intelligence about your products.

    Yes. Everyone can view a web site, including your customers and prospective customers, and it is much more convenient for them to look at a web site than to attempt to load a CD-ROM.

    Which may not even be allowed. In many companies, programs cannot be run from CD-ROMs except by sys admins, Windows System policies applicable to your customer on their business workstation may prevent your CD from working (or at least, it will fail to autorun).

    As for your competitors: it doesn't matter that you didn't mail a CD to their HQ, they will still get it if they want one. Some of your legitimate customers will actually be providing information and details about your marketing to your competition, while seeking a better deal.

    Also, some of your "customers" may be people working for your competitors in disguise. Your competitors may have even found someone at your company they can learn all they need to know about what's on the CD from.

    3. If you have a web site, you have to worry more about security and being hacked.

    You still have to worry about it without a web site; if you have computer networks, even completely private ones, it is possible they may be used without your knowledge to benefit an adversary: whether through technical exploits or social engineering. Some of your employees have internet access, don't they?

    Consider the attack model: employee (an insider) gains access to sensitive information and sells it, perhaps they send it out via e-mail. Merely not having a web site is no protection against this attack model.

    Proper security involves implementing a firewall and separating your internal networks from untrusted networks. It also involves segmenting information internally, so An employee in Department A can't read information that only employees in Department B should see. (Marketing doesn't get to see the legal department's records, for ex)

    Your web server (if you have one) should just be part of yet another untrusted network, if it never has privileged access of any sort to your trusted networks, then you are no less secure than before.

    Web sites start to become a risk only when proper isolation is not in place, or the web site explicitly access internal data (for example, for a customer to place an order using the web site)

    4. If you have a web site, you have to hire web developers. With a CD-ROM application, you can use VB developers, who can create a more graphically rich experience for the customer.

    Less consistent experience. VB developers are likely to be more expensive than HTML developers.

    It is just as expensive to design the visuals, whether VB is used or not, but HTML certainly provides more easily used tools, and it is much less expensive to design an impressive website than to design an impressive VB application.

    It really is quite simple to execute. On the last Wednesday of the month, everyone who has a CD-R drive (which includes all IT employees) has to burn their share of the CDs that have to go out the following Monday. So we assign a quota so to speak, and how to do in regards to your quota goes into your 360 feedback session later in the year.

    That's nuts. Much better to have a CD-R duplicator and one assistant assigned to do that.

    The opportunity cost involved in having system admins burning loads of CDs is tremendous, they should be doing other work that is more valuable to the business.

    While burning of CDs should be relegated to people who either have run out of real work to do, or to less-expensive staff who won't be distracted from more important duties.

  • Steve (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • BentFranklin (cs)

    Dear TopCod3r/Brian,

    I read comments at wtf so I can see how other people think about things. I'm not elite, I'm not even a professional coder, so I don't always know the "right" ways to do things. I'm just trying not to wtf myself. So I learn a lot in the comments. The learning is the fun part for me, although some posts do make me laugh pretty hard too. But not yours.

    When I read your posts, I think "That's odd, but I don't know everything, so maybe someone really does believe that." Later when I figure out you were just talking through your ass I feel mightily jerked around.

    Plus, who knows how much of your disinformation actually lodges in a reader's subconscious in spite of consciously knowing you were just trolling? You're actually contributing to more wtf's in people, just the same way that advertising works and racism spreads.

    I could simply not read your posts, but I have never bothered up to now to look at posters' names first and I don't think I should have to. So you think you're being funny but you're really just making work for other people.

    There are better ways to be funny. You're smart enough to approach your subject obliquely instead of just saying the opposite of what is true.

    Peace, BentFranklin

    PS - Speaking of teh funnay, I'd like to share this awesome paper with everyone:

    http://www.tomveatch.com/else/humor/paper/humor.html

  • Duke of New York (unregistered)

    The developer responsible for that message should be fired and forced to take kindergarten for the rest of his life.

  • Dave G. (unregistered) in reply to Similar, but less serious story
    Similar:
    Until the day some unepexpected error pooped up with a stack trace referencing "ass" popped up on a screen...

    FYP

  • Bappi (cs) in reply to BentFranklin

    Dear TopCod3r,

    My company desperately needs a person with your depth and breadth of knowledge in all matter IT. Please inform us of how you would see your job with us. what responsibilities you would like to assume, and how you would like to be remunerated. I will have my secretary draw up a contract forthwith and have it couriered over, if that is acceptable to you.

    Awaiting your response in eager anticipation, (s) Awestruck.

  • Microsoftie (unregistered) in reply to Bob N Freely
    MS has an internal tool they have to run on any project that will be released to customers. It looks for this kind of stuff in the code. It has a database of offensive words in dozens of languages, so sometimes you get unexpected results.

    Said tool is called PoliCheck, and it's overly sensitive. You get errors if your strings include words like "red" (potentially-offensive synonym for communist) and "wife" (heterocentric, the approved term is "spouse or life partner").

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